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BAMP: No short-term fixes

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

BAMP: No short-term fixes

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DOCTORS WELCOMED Government’s pledge yesterday to urgently inject $22 million into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in response to their plea for a swift resolution to the critical shortages of supplies.
But they said the discussion in Parliament on the matter clearly demonstrates the severity of the situation at the island’s lone tertiary medical institution is not fully appreciated.
“As the Prime Minister so verbosely outlined yesterday, shortages at the QEH are not new. However, these shortages are more severe and more frequent than ever, and are definitely compromising the standard of care at our only tertiary care institution.
“For example, the lack of a crucial test to measure blood gas levels has presented significant challenges to the monitoring and treatment of intensive care patients, including newborn babies,” said the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) in a statement this morning.
BAMP again cautioned against the strategy of providing short-term financial supplements saying this has only contributed to the chronic and recurrent nature of the problems at the QEH. And it stated it was encouraged to hear a Government minister acknowledge this fact, and agrees that a new approach to financing the hospital is necessary to reverse this worsening trend.
Additionally, it acknowledged their press release on Monday which highlighted the extraordinary situated at the QEH would have caused significant concern among the general public, but it believes that Barbadians have a right to be aware of the truly unprecedented and dangerous levels of shortages that exist.
In the statement, which was signed by the association’s acting public relations officer Dr Joseph Herbert, BAMP reiterated it was ready to assist the Government wherever it can but stressed that they would never retreat to a position of silence when patients’ safety and welfare are at risk.
“As concerned citizens of a democratic country, we reserve the right to warn Barbadians,” BAMP stated.
The association emphasised too that their position is not partisan.
“It is not about individuals or politics, it’s about patient safety and it is our duty as doctors to protect our patients,” the statement concluded. (SP)